§ Mr. Brooke
The Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils are currently constituted as sub-committees of the Arts Council of Great Britain, though, in practice, both have enjoyed a degree of autonomy. In consultation with my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales and in the context of the Government's commitment to re-examine the role of the Arts Council of Great Britain, we have concluded that the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils should be separately constituted. With the agreement of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, ministerial responsibility for them will be transferred to my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Wales. In future, the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils will become directly accountable to them.
I believe that this change will enable the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils to respond more effectively to the needs of the arts in Scotland and Wales. Arrangements will 509W be made to ensure that the national arts councils take a collective view on matters of common interest, such as touring.
To ensure an orderly transfer of functions I propose that the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils should become autonomous with effect from 1 April 1994.